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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19718
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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The animal is a Rat. I 't know what problems or diseases

Customer Question

The animal is a Rat. I don't know what problems or diseases rats are predisposed too so I could use some insight. About 3 days ago this pet started dragging his left hind foot. I tried splinting it because it seemed he could lift the leg from his hip but couldn't straighten his foot out, like he had foot drop. Splinting his foot out straight did not help. Through last night at some point he bled through is nose a goodly amount getting blood down himself and in his cage. He also has drop foot in both hind feet now. He is not moving and has no appetite. Thanks for any thoughts on the matter.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 11 months ago.

Hello. Thanks for the question.

It sounds like this is a nerve problem that you're seeing. If it started with one leg and now involves both legs, the most likely cause is a tumor pressing on his nerves and spinal cord. A spinal tumor is going to be the most likely, unfortunately.

There is not much you can do for this in a rat. Most end up being euthanized when we encounter this problem. If you really wanted to do everything, I would MRI and then try to remove the mass. You're talking about a few thousand dollars of diagnostics and surgery here. I let owners know it's an option, but I have yet to see any go for it- understandably.

I'm sorry I don't have any better news. Rats typically only live 2 years, and this is why- they tend to grow tumors quite readily.

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